Russ Smith at Splice Today looks at the fringes on the right and left and reassures nervous pundits everywhere that reality is still at the center of things:
The "main show" in American politics hasn't changed: there's a true difference of opinion over the proper balance of power between the individual and government in almost every facet of life. Some fear incompetence, heavy-handedness and insensitivity by the government, at the expense of the individual; others are nervous about the private sector's power and influence and neglect of the underdog. It's an honest, timeless debate and is usually conducted in a semi-civilized, "let's agree to disagree" manner. The "sideshow," on the other hand, is part entertainment and part genuine lunacy.
Smith points to a bad column by the Wall Street Journal's resident liberal Thomas Frank and a piece by The New Republic's Leon Wieseltier for further reading.